Dealing with downed Broken and Chosen

So an amazing thing happened in last night’s Band of Blades game.

Long version: (scroll down for tl;dr)

After making their way carefully through Talgon Forest the Legion arrived at Fort Calisco to find it under siege by Blighter’s troops.

The Horned One took the field to distract Blighter while a mounted squad tried to take out some siege weapon encampments.

So I had clocked out for The Horned One and Blighter and would occasionally pause the action that the Legionaires were involved with to see how that was going. After the third roll, Blighter had rolled 2 crits so The Horned One’s clock was full. Blighter had 5 or 6 ticks left on hers. So at that point I told my players that Blighter was going to pull back, dragging The Horned One’s unconscious body along with her.

They had just captured some siege weapons, so before destroying them they decided to open up on Blighter’s position while the Heavy and the Medic rode to the Horned One’s rescue. They did minimal damage, but it did cause her to be a little more careful and try to stay under cover while fleeing.

As the Medic and Heavy approach the Medic tosses the Heavy some rage venom and the Heavy charges in at Blighter alone while the Medic hangs back with the plan to extract the Horned One while Blighter is distracted. Both players were fully prepared to lose the Heavy if it meant getting their Chosen One back.

The Heavy charges and all of Blighter’s guile and alchemical concoctions weren’t enough to keep him away and he impales her, ticking the rest of her remaining ticks. Taking a bunch of corruption (getting a Blight in the process) and a level 4 wound, which he was able to knock down to level 1 with armor and resistance.

tl;dr during the siege of Fort Calisco The Horned One went down fighting Blighter, but the Legion was able to take Blighter down as well.

So, question: has anyone had to deal with either situation? Will the Horned One recover on her own? I’m on the fence, if she went down to a non-Chosen, it seems like a gimme. But to Blighter? That seems nasty. Maybe I need to offer a special op (religious mission) to get her back on her feet?

And what about Blighter? They came up with the idea to use up their remaining religious supplies to basically keep Blighter impaled with reliquaries, which sounds like an awesome idea so I said that would keep her from recovering for the foreseeable future (at least the rest of the campaign). But if they decide they want to try to do something to permanently destroy her? Has anyone come up with anything in their game for that? Examples/ideas would be great.

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What horrible wound does the Horned One have that is refusing to heal? Do they have Heartwood from the forest? That might help.

Maybe it’s just a 10 clock that heals at one tick per downtime. Mercy will add a tick. Better recruit a shit load of mercies. Or maybe Blighter’s camp actually has a lot of alchemical supplies that might speed her recovery. You could use the confusion in her camp as her lieutenants fight to take her place as cover for the raid.

Maybe you can keep Blighter in a coma with the reliquaries, but you’re either going to need to fill her full of crimson shells and ruin all your snipers, or get the horned one healthy enough that she can properly dispose of the corpse.

Also, that is AWESOME.

One of the key jobs of the GM is to push choices and consequences forward.

In other words: of course you offer a religious op to help the horned one recover :slight_smile: That sounds super rad. And it’ll be fun, and the players will have stakes in it.

Blighter impaled by reliquaries? Hell yes. That sounds AWESOME. Especially if she croaks or tempts people that go into the tent or wagon she’s being carried in.

Want to find out how to kill a broken? Start a clock. Research it. Maybe assign a scout and a squad away to go on a long-term play to find Zora and find out how one kills a god. Oh you’re looking for something quicker? I hear there’s a bell that strips away supernatural powers in an old temple on the High Road. I’m sure you can spend an intel to find out where. If she’s got nothing supernatural about her working… maybe she can be killed.

Whatever you think will be fun and awesome and your players will eat up with a spoon (that’s pretty much the game).

To answer your question, I’ve seen a broken killed a couple times. Once they had to burn the body, then have Shreya use her blood to counter the corruption, smash it, and re-burn it in a furnace.

I’ve also seen them Crimson Shot render while he was under the effects of a bell, and have Zora incinerate the corpse with her sword.

The long and short of it is usually a Chosen is involved, and it takes a while (long term project). It’s far easier to just bury them at the bottom of a lake or something and worry about the problem much much later…

I appreciate all the input. They’re going to be in the Maw this week and I rolled all religious missions. I’d already decided one of them should be about restoring their Chosen. And unless they really push about Blighter I suspect we may not have to worry about it because I don’t believe they have any intention of sticking around in the Maw, so there’s really not time for some number of long-term projects or special ops to deal with Blighter.

Though I kind of hope one of them remembers my description of the Maw and is like… can’t we just toss her down there?

If she’s already stuffed with reliquaries, binding her with as much canvas and rope as you can find and tossing her down the deepest pit you can find sounds like a good way to not worry about her for awhile.

Last night the Legion did the first mission at Fort Calisco where our Chosen, the Horned One’s Chosen fought Render in hand-to-hand combat as a distraction so we could get the bulk of the Legion in the fort, and also burn their siege engines as a secondary distraction.

The Horned One’s Chosen did so well during the battle that the Legion’s Officer decided to risk it all and ordered a cavalry charge on Render’s position. Despite having a 12 tick clock and being Threat 5, the Legion actually knocked him out in three desperate group skirmish rolls. The end of the battle was the Horned One’s Chosen transforming herself into a bear and dragging Render through the gates of Fort Calisco while the the Legion defended her retreat.

So next session I’m going to have to figure out what that even means. I think until the Legion finds a plan to restrain him, the Horned One is going to have to constantly be fighting/restraining Render, but beyond that I have no idea what happens next.

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First thing has got to be find a way to pry his armor off of him. I bet it’s attached, and he won’t enjoy it, but that’s got to go. Also finding a way to cool him down is probably important too, in order to counteract his Cinderblood.

I think I may find myself in a similar situation because my PCs want to make Shreya threat 5, and I assume there plan is to spring a trap on Blighter and have them duke it out.

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Thought I’d follow up on what happened: I ran a “mini-Skydagger keep” mission, where we had no Secondary mission for the round. It’s far too much text to put in a post, but if you want to see how I planned for the mission, it’s here:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XoxvUsI7nimzOcZ5VZmWOlBXlvV3mwPlwIBkk5uYsps/edit?usp=sharing

One of the components of the mission was figuring out how to kill or subdue Render. I decided to leave a lot of this planning to the Lorekeeper, because we have previously established that the Legion had killed a number of Chosen prior to the Battle of Ettenmark Fields.

The command staff of the Legion hangs to the back, hands at the hilts of their weapons. The Lorekeeper turns to his page and whispers something to him, the boy runs to the chests of the annals. “We have a hard night ahead of us comrades. The Legion hasn’t killed a Chosen for over 180 years. We have no one who has completed the meditations that allow a man to touch Crimson Shot, and so we must fall back on the old books.” The young boy has come back with a small red cloth bound notebook engraved with the words “On peculiar fauna and their life cycles, seventh century OEF.” The lorekeeper opens the book. “The Annals tell us that each Chosen is a puzzlebox that must be solved. When we solve it we can kill it.”

The mission had 3 objectives: (1) defend the Fort from Render’s frenzied forces as they throw everything they have at the walls, (2) perform research and experimentation to discover Render’s true weaknesses, (3) Maintain a perimiter around The Horned One and Render so that civilians don’t die and there is a proper venue for fighting and killing him.

When we finally reach the point of the mission where we must decide how to kill Render, I allowed every member of our group to contribute creatively to the plan. My 4 players provided me with the following:

  1. Render’s armor isn’t made of metal. In fact it’s not really armor, it’s biological and more like chitin or abalone shell.
  2. Organic acids can weaken the shell and make it pliable to wrecking tools.
  3. You can counteract Render’s burning-hot Cinderblood with massive amounts of splashed sanctified wine, (unlike water which boils away completely, wine leaves a residue on the flesh that is still potent).
  4. Underneath Render’s armor is a hole in his chest, just like his Heartless elites. The hole must be filled completely with sanctified wine. This will render him mortal.

In the final battle against Render in the final scene, a squad of Legionnaires pushed back the Infamous Ache and his heavy infantry Black Oak Knights while the rest of the Legion risked their lives to throw vials of acid from their wrecking kits at Render. The nunnery of Gerholtz the Hunter rolls all 12 barrels of sanctified fortified hunter’s wine into the market square where Render and THOC are fighting and pour it into the square’s fountain for use by the Legion. Once, “pliable” the Shattered Lions risk everything by rushing Render and wrecking his armor so that his skin is exposed, giving just enough time for our medic, Blue Running Stream to fling a bucket of sacramental wine into his chest, temporarily filling his heart-hole and rendering him mortal. The final tick on Render’s clock is filled when 2 Heavies and a full squad wrestle Render into the fountain and hold him under the wine until he drowns.

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That’s kind of an amazing story there :slight_smile:

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Could not possibly ask for a higher compliment.